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CITY CULTURE

Coming of Age

February 07, 1993|ERIN J. AUBRY

Director Peter C. Brosius describes "Stamping, Shouting and Singing Home" as much more than the title implies.

"It's a coming-of-age story as well as a portrayal of a crucial moment in American history," said Brosius, who directs this latest production of the Improvisational Theatre Project, the Mark Taper Forum's youth theater group.

Set in the deep South at the dawn of the civil rights era, the show, written by Lisa Evans, traces the emotional journey of Lizzie, an African-American girl who discovers the nature of prejudice but also finds strength in her encounters with Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman and a host of ancestors. Despite its sober theme, "Stamping, Shouting and Singing Home" features stirring gospel music and spiritual arrangements performed by a cast of four: Monica Guy, Michele Mais, Shelley Robertson and Vanessa Townsell.

"This is essentially a celebration of African-American traditions, of family," Brosius said. "A lot of history that was passed on orally in the culture simply wasn't taught in schools."

Producer Josephine Ramirez says "Stamping" says much about the price of freedom. "Liberty isn't gained without intense struggle," she said. "Look at the whole legacy of people who came before you. It's up to all of us--black, white or whatever--to keep the faith and remember. We're all still fighting."

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